Want to bring your loved one somewhere special? Our inner-romantic tends to drift off into a daydream of sunset strolls by the Seine or wine in Tuscany. But why not try somewhere new?
From the rolling hills of England’s countryside to the winding canals of Belgium, here’s a selection of our 10 favourite romantic getaways for 2017.
With Christmas popping up at the back of your mind, now is the best time to book your trip in advance for a spring holiday. A Valentine’s Day trip to Europe? Sounds perfect for any couple.
Make your way to Bath for a romantic weekend in the city synonymous with luxurious first class spas. Start your day in one of Bath’s many romantic hotels (many of which have adorable four-poster beds) and spend your morning exploring architectural beauties like the Roman Baths or the charming surrounding villages.
Castle Combe and Lacock are especially worth the visit. Adventurous travellers might try a hot air balloon ride over the city and countryside. No need to splurge, you can find something for every budget in Bath from cheap and charming gastropubs to fine dining.
Dinner Suggestion: Sotto Sotto is an award-winning restaurant in an incredible historic location. Take a trip underground into the vaults that lie below the city and you’ll find delicious Italian food and unbeatable ambiance – think thick stone walls and heaps of candles.
Gift Idea: Need a gift for your special someone? Book a private soak at The Cross Bath: natural thermal waters and champagne are a sure recipe for romance.
Travel to Bruges, the Venice of the North, makes for a great romantic getaway filled with picturesque bridges, small canals and 15th-century charm.
Visit the Begijnhof, a 17th-century chapel and hermitage, for a beautiful walk in the secluded inner courtyard. Get a sense of the city with a quick carriage ride but be sure to get off at the Rozenhoedkaai – Bruges’ most photographed and famous bridge – for a great photo op.
Bruges has something for everyone from a cheap night on the town with Belgium’s famous French fries to Michelin calibre restaurants.
Dinner Suggestions: Pro Deo, a restaurant in the Langestraat district, is the perfect spot for an inexpensive and romantic meal. The restaurant is in a house that dates back to the 16th century and the husband-wife duo who cook and host couldn’t be cuter.
Gift Ideas: Chocolate is the obvious choice. Try these places to avoid all the over-touristed and overpriced alternatives: The Chocolate Line, Spegeleare Chocolatiers and Dumon Chocolaterie are all featured on a list of Belgium’s best .
Why we love Belgium: Rich with culture, Belgium offers a host of romantic destinations and activities, all of which are featured on this extensive list of the 100 best things to do in the country.
Explore exquisite Edinburgh! Scotland’s capital has a huge array of romantic activities, starting with streets! Take your loved one hand-in-hand and weave through the beautiful medieval streets. Between the gothic architecture and rolling hills, make sure to watch the sunset over the city from the castle.
Want to get a little closer? Why not hop on a ghost tour and explore the city’s vaults and Greyfriars graveyard. No doubt that the spooky stories of plagues and poltergeists will keep you holding on tight to one another.
Dinner suggestions: there is no shortage of great restaurants in Edinburgh. All you have to know is what you’re in the mood for. Los Argentinos is a loved steak spot among locals, not to mention their staff are famously friendly. But if it’s something a little less messy you’re after check out Mia Restaurant! This cutesy Italian spot is p-e-r-fect for a romantic dinner.
Gift ideas: If it’s a sweet tooth your significant other has then you cannot go wrong by spoiling them with Scottish fudge! Although if it’s something savoury they like, then go for the scrumptious traditional shortbread!
How to get there: Scotland has two major international airports which serve US airports, Edinburgh and Glasgow. If flying into Glasgow suits you better, there are regular bus and train connections to Edinburgh.
A visit to Heidelberg feels like a trip back in time. With a stunning Baroque castle presiding over the city and plenty of small winding streets, you can’t help but feel transported back to another time.
Right on the shore of the Neckar, there’s something magical about the way takes on a red glow during the sunset. After a morning spent hiking up to Heidelberg castle and enjoying the view you’re sure to fall in love all over again.
Dinner Suggestions: Weisser Bock, in the old town, is one of Heidelberg’s most famous and romantic restaurants. Candlelight, champagne and an award-winning hotel right next door, what could be better?
Gift Ideas: A chocolatey gift with a romantic back story: Studentenkusse are small chocolates with a portrait of a kissing couple on the packaging. Dating back to the 19th century, they were the traditional gift given by students at the university to their lovers. The young men were not permitted to speak to the ladies but the chocolates were a small way of showing their love.
How to get to there: With Frankfurt International Airport lying north of this romantic getaway destination getting to Heidelberg is easier than you would think. Catch one of the many flights to Frankfurt and catch a connecting train to Heidelberg.
As it turns out, Holland is full of romantic canal-filled cities. A trip to Utrecht can make for a perfect romantic weekend for two. The city is easily walkable so meander along its lovely winding streets or even better hire a bike for the day and really get to know the Medieval town.
Spend your day getting lost in charming shops, cafes and restaurants. Check out the beautiful Castle de Haar with a moat, drawbridge, tall towers and gorgeous gardens.
Dinner Suggestion: Podium onder de Dom does a romantic night out just right. The incredible wine list and their master sommelier are sure to impress. A little bit pricey but worth it for the ambience and the excellent service.
Gift Idea: Utrecht is renowned for its amazing shopping. Why not take your sweetheart to one of the city’s fabulous boutiques and let them pick out their own gift? Better yet, make it a shopping spree!
Home to the incredible love story of Diego and Isabel (a tale perhaps even grander than Romeo & Juliet), Teruel in Eastern Spain is the perfect place to spend a romantic weekend. Star-crossed lovers separated by class and fate, Diego and Isabel had a passionate relationship that was ultimately left unconsummated by Diego’s tragic death. Ornate sculptures of the two lovers can be seen scattered throughout the city.
Dinner Suggestion: The Parador Group has restaurants all around Spain but the one in Teruel is especially worth the visit. Close to the city centre, the restaurant combines international favourites with local flavours and even has gluten free options!
Gift Idea: A night in a hotel never goes unappreciated. Lots of Teruel hotels offer romantic packages with roses, chocolate, champagne and eve spa packages included.
How to get there: Teruel is located halfway between Madrid and Barcelona, which makes your flights options much wider. From either Madrid International or Barcelona International you can find a connecting transport to Teruel.
Exploring the honey-coloured towns and villages of the Cotswolds can make for the perfect romantic holiday.
Fall in love with beautiful villages such as Snowshill and Painswick, found in the Cotswolds Hill. Spend the day meandering through the aged streets, taking a trip back in time with your loved one.
If you both like a bit of history, then check out the historical market towns such as Cirencester and Tetbury! When the night calls, cosy up in inviting Cotswold pubs, spending the night snuggling up by the fire. Sounds perfect.
Dinner Suggestion: The Chef’s Dozen in Chipping Campden town centre is a critically acclaimed restaurant! Their wholesome, hearty dishes and the wine selection is a splendid combination!
Gift Ideas: the Cotswolds Distillery offers visitors a fine choice of dry gin and malt whisky. Opening just two years ago, the brewery’s produce has consistently received good reviews! And nothing is too good for your significant other right?
With mountains in the North and the Lake to the South, Annecy boasts a lovely sense of seclusion ideal for a romantic weekend away. The old city centre is full of charming medieval buildings, canals and an especially remarkable Old Castle.
Walk to the famous “Pont des Amours” where you’ll find an incredible panoramic view, perfect for that couple selfie you’ve been pining for.
Dinner Suggestion: Make a reservation at L’Alpin for a romantic night of french cuisine. Raclette (delicious cheese melted over meat, potatoes and bread) is a must in the Alps and is one of their specialities.
Gift Ideas: Annecy has a thriving community of artisans and craftsmen. Try “Aux Bouts de Bois” for some local woodworking – a wooden clock or some carving.
A gorgeous old town, Coimbra is the setting for Ines de Castro and Pedro of Portugal’s tragic love story. The lovers met and married in the 13th century but Pedro’s father, the King, ordered Ines’ death shortly thereafter.
Heartbroken, Pedro ultimately gained the throne and ordered his wife be posthumously recognised as queen. Coimbra is a beautiful town to see on foot or by boat to get a sense of the city’s history and charm.
Dinner Suggestion: Arcadas Da Capela is a Michelin star restaurant located in an 18th-century palace. Surrounded by a huge park full of ruins and secluded groves, you can relive the love story of Ines and Pedro while you savour classic Portuguese delicious red wine.
With incredibly affordable rates and gorgeous beaches, Dubrovnik has quickly become a hot spot for honeymooners.
The seaside town boasts scenic views and a charming historic town with spectacular views of the ocean. Fans of Game of Thrones might recognise some scenes and can even take a tour of filming destinations in and around the city.
Dinner Suggestions: Take a short boat trip to Villa Dubrovnik for a dinner at Restaurant Pjerin on the cliffside overlooking the city. The rapid growth of tourism in Dubrovnik, unfortunately, means a rise of over-priced restaurants with subpar food, Pjerin offers international favourites as well as local fare at good prices and paired with excellent wines.
Gift Idea: Jewellery is always a classic gift but Dubrovnik’s seaside location means there are plenty of freshwater pearls and coral. Look for local goods based on the Morici style of jewellery making: enamel coated beads and gorgeous earrings.
How to get there: Flying indirectly to Dubrovnik from the USA is possible. Although the likelihood of having to change flights twice is very high, but from this point of arrival in Europe you are given more opportunities to discover the Balkans countries.